Merchant Account Providers: How to Pick the Right One
As a busy healthcare professional, you’ve got far better things to do with your time than deal with the repercussions of choosing the wrong merchant account provider. While picking the right provider for your needs means investing a certain amount of time and effort, you can increase your chances of finding the most suitable match for your business by following some simple guidelines.
Define Your Needs
The best place to begin your search for the right merchant account provider is to consider the nature of your business. Do you:
Conduct business online, off-line, or both?
- Start by pinpointing whether you need a company that gives you access to mobile, POS retail, telephone, wireless, or web-based solutions and hardware.
Run things yourself, or employ a full or part time team?
- The more personnel who conduct sales, and the more clients you have, the more frequent your transactions are likely to be. Find out about potential caps on monthly sales processing volumes, and whether there are extra fees for overages.
Plan to branch out or expand your business in the future?
- You might not offer in-home services today, but what about tomorrow? Look for a merchant account provider that’s capable of keeping up with your demands. Many offer valuable business solutions for growing companies that extend beyond the simple processing of customer payments.
Weigh Your Options
Once you’ve figured out what you need, it’s time to find out where to get it. Investigate potential merchant account candidates by:
- Considering how long they’ve been in business
- Researching their technical competence, level of support, and what training they provide
- Reading client reviews, and exploring their quality of customer care
- Thoroughly understanding their fee structure
These last two items – customer support and fees – are particularly important, because the last thing your business needs is to be locked in with a dishonest provider that hasn’t been upfront about its rates, or that fails to deliver when help is needed.
Remember That Price Isn’t Everything
Before signing on with any merchant account provider, make sure they offer prompt and knowledgeable assistance during business hours at the very least, and ideally on a 24-hour basis. You’ll get the most bang for your business buck when you work with a provider that:
- Has a proven track record of success with an established clientele
- Respects your needs and budget, and doesn’t push unnecessary services or equipment
- Stays up to date with the latest technology and business trends
When comparing your options, make a point of doing your research and asking questions, but don’t make the mistake of simply opting for the merchant account provider with the lowest rates. As with everything in life, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Providers who claim to charge significantly less than their competitors are often guilty of bundling undisclosed fees and markups inside a complicated price structure.